Can DJ Cut It?

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All Summer, Charlotte’s GM Worked Hard To Avoid This Situation. But, It’s Now On DJ Augustin To Lead The Bobcats

As the Bobcats sputtered through their first Playoff ride last spring, Charlotte fans seemed finished with former starting point guard, Raymond Felton. Despite the poor play of his understudy, DJ Augustin, the clamor over Felton’s contract expectations and Playoff stumble signaled the end of the love for the ex-Tarheel. The Bobcats made no effort to resign Felton, despite the lack of a viable replacement at the point guard spot.

Yea, it was the free-wheelin’ free agency season of 2010, so we all believed that the trade-happy Bobcats were surely gonna find someone to play the point better than any Bobcat before him.

Over the summer, Toronto had a deal worked out with Charlotte and Phoenix that would have delivered Jose Calderon as the new starting point guard for the Bobcats. Just before that trade agreement was finalized, the basketball gods interceded to notify Michael Jordan that he was about to make another boneheaded management decision. Quickly, that situation was diffused and Toronto was stuck with their oft-injured Spaniard. Still, we all knew that something was going to happen over the summer. Something had to happen, right?

The Erick Dampier trade seemed promising, until no other team showed the slightest interest in Dampier’s supposedly valuable $13 million non-guaranteed contract. It really seemed like the Bobcats were lining up their chess pieces for a masterful play, but then they just left the room, hopped on the sofa and turned on the Playstation.

Shooting Bricks In Free Agency

Last week’s “news” report about Devin Harris finding his way to Charlotte in the Melo-to-the-Nets swap was just enough to make me believe that Charlotte’s front office had set themselves up perfectly to take advantage of the messy circumstances that are inevitable in the NBA. Man, I was crazy psyched for that trade to go through. In my excitement, I high-fived fellow baseliner Deesdale, and even left a semi-drunken voice mail to Bobcats Baseline’s foreign correspondent, A.S. Chin. (He’s 12 hours ahead, so maybe he’d know when the deal was finalized – right?)

Then, we found out that the super-complicated, 4 team trade was crumbling and it was later reported that Devin Harris hated the idea of playing in Charlotte. So, it was back to the drawing board for GM Rod Higgins and Michael Jordan as training camp was set to begin. Last week, Larry Brown gave us the old “Larry Brown” routine and griped about the state of the roster during his first meeting with the media. The next day, he praised some guys for their hard work and conditioning, and so it goes…

Now, As It Stands – 6′ 0″

Today, we’re still wondering what the Bobcats are going to do to get an NBA starter-quality point guard? It looks like DJ Augustin is next up on the depth chart, but it’s clear that the team has scrambled all summer to avoid this situation. Can Larry Brown turn Augustin into a capable starter over the next few weeks? It was rumored that Larry Brown made the call to draft Augustin over Brook Lopez. How long can Larry try to justify that opinion before he sends DJ off, like so many past Bobcats?

Another way to consider this would be to ask – Can DJ Augustin turn himself into a true, starter-quality point guard in the next few weeks? The Bobcats have given the media some nice bits about DJ’s “confidence” and new assertiveness as a leader. Now that he holds the reins, it would be great to see DJ make huge strides as a player. Still, I have to wonder if he’s got what it takes to meet Larry Brown’s demands and the fans’ expectations.

- Mike


POLL : Can DJ Cut It?

  • DJ Can Be A Star
    (19%, 36 Votes)
  • DJ Can Be A Starter
    (58%, 112 Votes)
  • DJ Will Be Traded
    (18%, 34 Votes)
  • DJ Will Be Benched
    (5%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 193

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7 thoughts on “Can DJ Cut It?

  1. Glad we didn't do the trade for Calderon – would have further tied up the payroll for the next couple of years for a guy who had one or two good years, and is unlikely to improve or even maintain that level now that he's approaching 30.

    I'm rooting for DJ to step up and become a legit starter, but it's far from a given.

  2. I'd like to think D.J. can, but I don't he will. He seems much more to me like a supporting two guard that can score you some points off the bench. Devin Harris would have been sweet. If they can score a good playmaking point guard through a trade the team will be in really good shape. If not, I think it's fighting for that last playoff spot again.

  3. Dr. Spalding

    All I can do is hope, but the reality is DJ will not be the guy who can run this ship. He lacks specific skills and abilities to be a starter in this league. Mostly, his personality and approach is not suited to this level of pressure and responsibility. I fear we won't have much to deal if DJ starts and fails again…

  4. Leroy

    i have more faith in shaun livingston being our starter later into the season as he gets used to the system of LB. we dont sign him for 3 years for no reason, he has the talent and physical ability to do it still. look him up on youtube, he shows promising athletic ability, mid range jumper and court vision still.

  5. DJ's physical limitations are obvious but what scares me more is how he handles the mental aspects of the position. He hasn't shown that he's intellectually capable of getting it.

    I mean, Chris Paul isn't much bigger physically than DJ but rarely do you see scouts bringing this up as CP3 has such a firm grasp on the game — not to mention a more refined skill set.

    I'm rooting for DJ and curious to see how he handles the new role this preseason but am getting the sneaking suspicion that Augustin will only further the gap between he and Brook Lopez again this season.

  6. Pepperz

    I hate it when people talk about DJ having physical limitations. There have been plenty of people his size or smaller do significantly well. One guy that comes to mind leads the NBA in all time steals. Its just easier for people to point out physical size because it can be measure while the other things are more subjective. DJ has alot of potental but he has yet to tap it. Dont get me wrong, I am not saying hes going to be a hall of famer but give him a chance and I think he will get ALOT better.

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